Community Stories: The How and Why of “Living Ark” Community

Our community name, Living Ark, originated as a fusion between two names – Living Waters and Noah’s Ark.

Living Waters because we were inspired by one of our member’s sharing in one of our very first sessions where he shared his (very unique) perspective of community in relation to the parable of the mustard seed (Mark 4: 30-32). To him, God is like the sun that shines and provides the much needed sunlight that is necessary for the seed to grow while a community is like water which is essential to nourish and sustain the mustard seed so that it can grow into a beautiful tree. And like any other tree, it needs sunlight and water to sustain it. Similarly, we need God and a community to be kept truly alive and kicking. Therefore, we wanted to be the Living Water that flows from fountain of God to sustain, nourish and rejuvenate this community and the people around us.

Noah’s Ark because his Ark was a refuge to diverse creatures, from animals to humans. All of them in the Ark were moving in the same direction towards God’s saving grace. Just like Noah’s Ark, we want to be the Ark that brings together all kinds of individuals who are seeking God. We hope to reach out to people who feel lost and stranded, to give them refuge and a place where they feel protected from the storms that come their way because God is the protector and captain of this Ark and He will be the one who sails through the storms with us.

During the session when we officially decided on the name Living Ark, Father Jude joined us for our session. He shared with us about the Ark of the Covenant which appeared in one of the day’s mass readings. Although our name Living Ark was not originally derived from the Ark of the Covenant, we realised that it contained the three things that symbolise the foundation on which we hope this community would be built upon:

The Tablets of the Law (Exodus 40:18), a golden vessel holding a gomor of manna (Exodus 16:34) and the rod of Aaron (Numbers 17:10). We too want to be this Living Ark, which embodies all of these three things.

Firstly, we want to be followers of God’s Law. The law which makes us better people, the law which will sanctify us if we follow it with love. Our community hopes to be accountable to one another, to ensure that each and every member tries his or her best to follow God’s law and to be the person God created us to be.

Secondly, the community is like the manna which fed God’s chosen people for 40 years in the desert. Thus, this community feeds us no matter how tough life can get, no matter what storms and tempests come our way. Despite the secular world we are in which might be difficult to find God, the community will continue to feed us, sustain us, and help us grow.

Thirdly, the community is like the rod of Aaron, which signifies authority. We want the community to be the rod we hold onto when we go about our daily lives, to bring Christ to others around us, regardless of where we might be. The community will continue its mission to sanctify the world and ourselves.

The Ark is not just a symbol to us, it is living, and it is one which gives us life and reason to live. It is what keeps us focused on Christ, who commanded the Ark of the Covenant to be made at Sinai specifically for the Decalogue.

Furthermore, we also look to Mother Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, where she carried baby Jesus in her womb and brought Him to others. We want to live like Mary, with complete obedience to our Lord and allow us to follow His will and not ours.

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